a bit about me and my blog

me

me

Hello!

My name is Jessica, but you can call me Jess, and I live in the Buffalo area in Western NY. I love animals, music, traveling, reading, the outdoors (fishing, hiking ,picnicking and whatnot), horror movies, crochet, shopping (I will admit i love shoes…), drawing, visiting wineries/breweries, spending time with friends and family and of course… anything culinary.

So, i have been sharing food pics and recipes on facebook for awhile now. After some poking and prodding from others and contemplation on my part, I’ve decided maybe it’s about time to create a place of my own to finally deposit all of this “food stuff” that I have been spamming you all with throughout the past years…

chocolate truffle cheesecake

chocolate truffle cheesecake

I hope this can be a place where I can share recipes and ideas and hopefully hear something back once in a while too. I want a place to organize and share the recipes I’ve truly enjoyed making (and eating). Also, a place to get some feedback or new inspiration along the way… You can see pictures of things I’ve made in the past few years on facebook in my album named “Culinary Creations” but I think it is time for more than that… thus the creation of “therapy bread”.

Weird name?

What? I kinda like it. But I guess it might deserve some back-story. I won’t get into the knitty-gritty of the situation but one September afternoon not so terribly long ago when I was feeling particularly frazzled I decided it was about time to get in the kitchen. You see, for me, creating something with my own hands from an assortment of unassuming ingredients is something magical. I can crank up some Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Sting, Sara Bareilles, One Republic, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sevendust, Macklemore…. yea I like a random assortment of music…. and get to work. Get to work on not only creating something for dinner, dessert or snacking but something that I can be proud of. Something that I can share with others. Or something to keep all to myself. Either way, I walk away from this time in the kitchen, or outside with the smoker or wherever, feeling somehow elevated.

(Unless i totally screw up the recipe… which does happen… lol… then I just start over.)

chocolate turtle cheesecake

chocolate turtle cheesecake

So that September afternoon, instead of breaking down and feeling sorry for myself as we are so often tempted to do, I printed out a copy of the “peppery cheese rolls” recipe from the “Taste of Home” website and got started. I proudly posted a picture of the final result on Facebook later on, declaring it my “therapy bread” for the day.

Who needs therapy when you can dig your hands into some bread dough?

therapy bread 9-11-11

peppery cheese bread (aka- the original ‘therapy bread’)

I love, love, love baking, so there will be many dessert recipes and pictures to come (you can also see more I’ve made in the past on fb). and fair warning: i love chocolate!!! I also enjoy sausage-making, rolling fresh pasta, making jams and preserves, smoking meats and, well let’s me honest, the list could go on and on… I’ll try just about anything once!

fresh fettuccine

fresh fettuccine

I have no formal training but I have been experimenting my way through cookbooks, cooking methods and with new kitchen equipment for years. I’m far from perfect in my technique but I am finding my way and am excited to be sharing my endeavors with you on this blog. I am open to suggestions and am up for trying new recipes or discussing whatever. Please try the recipes I post and leave me feedback! I LOVE to hear how these recipes work for you! Many recipes are adapted from ones I’ve used in the past, some are family recipes and some I have created myself. If I’ve referenced a recipe that can be found on an external website, I will post a link if possible so that you can see where it came from.

shrimp and grits

shrimp and grits

When I first go to try a new recipe, much of my process involves reading comments on that or a similar recipe online. I usually do a few searches and read though a few recipes so I can take away the commonalities or main differences between them and decide which way makes more sense to me based on my past experiences. Do your research before you dive into a new recipe; I have learned a lot this way and been inspired to make variations I many never have thought of on my own!

Each person has their own unique taste so if you know you don’t like a ton of cilantro in a recipe and it calls for a lot then cut back! (Although, I wouldn’t recommend taking too many liberties when baking as this will could have a profound impact on the end result. i.e. don’t replace baking soda with strawberry yogurt… wink, wink you know who! lol) and if you don’t have the exact equipment they use in a recipe, be creative. Instead of an immersion blender, use a food processor or a standard blender. If you don’t have a grill, use a grill pan. If you don’t have a stand mixer (which BTW I think every baker should, I love mine and would be lost without it…) use a hand mixer or get your workout for the day with your arm and a wooden spoon… lol

pretzels and pretzel dogs

pretzels and pretzel dogs

I have also learned that it’s important to make sure you actually have ingredients on hand for a recipe that you think you have. Sounds obvious, right? Well I’ve made this mistake more than once…

::hanging head in shame:::

Make a list and check to make sure you have not run out of chicken broth or olive oil that you assume you always have… My boyfriend (Troy) gets on my case for this and is now in charge of list-making when he is around… lol…

corned beef hash

corned beef hash

Of course there is much to be learned from trial and error. I make my share of mistakes and will try not to hide those from you so that you can learn with me. And maybe give me suggestions as well?….

In any case, if you like what you see/read/taste, please follow my blog and leave me some feedback!

I should also let you know I have an assistant in the kitchen who does a lot of taste testing for me (as long as it doesn’t involve chocolate or anything else poisonous for her): my sweet and crazy kitty Angie ❤

that's right... she's sticking her tongue out at you! or perhaps she's saying, feed me!

that’s right… she’s sticking her tongue out at you! or perhaps she’s saying, feed me!

37 responses to “a bit about me and my blog

  1. Jess – This is wonderful! Must run in the family. Grandma would love to see this. I’ll show it to her when we visit in September.

  2. Quick question for you, Jess.
    I want to grow my own basil, sage, rosemary, and other herbs. Do you know if there is a special place to get the seeds or can I get them from HD or any of the home improvement stores? Are they all the same? I am figuring you know of a special gourmet herb store.

    • I’ve always bought mine at a local florist that already has seedlings grown and then i put them in a window basket. i have a lot of pest problems in my yard so i have to keep them off the ground. i am also a terrible gardener so that is why i normally buy seedlings instead of using seeds! i also live in buffalo, ny so we have a short growing season. lots of factors working against me on this one! lol
      there are different varieties of some herbs so just make sure you’re buying the right kinds of seeds but they’re all fairly similar. but i think it’s fine to buy them at HD or the like. good luck 🙂

  3. I lived there in 1971-72, probably way before you were born, lol. My dad was going to the RIT. All I remember from that time was a real cute girl named Caroline, the snow, and how weird people looked when I told them my name was Julio. Different time back then.

  4. You have a gorgeous blog Jess… love the variety of things that you make, the way you write, your photos. Awesome! Thanks for helping me find your blogging space. I’ll follow you from now on xx

    • Thank you so much you are sweet. 🙂 It has come a long way since I started it a few months ago! I love it and hope to keep improving it all the time! I hope you enjoy it now and in the future!

  5. Hi Jess, found your blog through Indu’s. Very interesting about page, and beautiful baked foods! I’m happy I found your blog and I’m looking forward to your posts…

  6. Pingback: Butterfly Light Award! | The Baking Bud and The Cooking Bud·

  7. What an awesome blog, Jess! I am so glad you stopped by The Chicago Files; thank you! I’m following you now, and I cannot wait to see lots more yummy stuff! Therapy bread is a perfect name! Cher xo

    • Oh my gosh you are too kind!!!!!! Thank you so much for thinking of me!!!!! Sorry it’s taken me a couple of days to get back to you- I’ve been on vacation and busy busy!

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